Wedding gown shopping can be overwhelming. Know your body type and style preference before you begin the search.
CHOOSING YOUR BRIDAL GOWN
On the day of your wedding, all eyes are on you. You’ll want to look and feel your best, which means finding the dress that fits both your style and your personality. But how to find “The Dress” out of the millions of beautiful wedding dresses out there?
Start by knowing you own personal style. If you are very fashion-forward in your daily attire, a high couture gown could be perfect for you. But if you tend to prefer more conservative, classic styles, it’s a smart choice to go with a classic gown. On your wedding day, you want to be the best version of yourself, not someone else.
With that in mind, flip through wedding magazines, scroll through Pinterest, and start visualizing your dream dress. This is one of the best parts of wedding planning, so dive in.
When you’ve got an idea of the styles you like, book an appointment at a bridal salon — and be sure to bring your mother, other relatives or close friends to give you a second opinion. Many bridal salons offer private consultations, complete with mimosas or champagne to make the process less stressful and exciting. Your consultant will take your measurements and pull samples for you to try on. Even if you think you know what kind of dress you’re looking for, be open to a variety of dress styles. Dresses might look very different on than they do on the rack, and you might be surprised by the dress that you fall in love with.
Your consultant might mention many types of styles; don’t be overwhelmed by the selection. Know your dresses:
- Ball gowns are perfect for the quintessential Cinderella moment.
- A-line dresses feature fitted bodices that flow from the waist into an “A” shape.
- Modified A-line dresses are slightly looser than A-line gowns, but still flow from the waist.
- Mermaid-style dresses were 2015’s most popular. They hug the upper and lower body and flair out at the calves.
- Trumpet dresses are similar to mermaid dresses, but less form-fitting. They accentuate the hips and waist.
- Sheath dresses are meant to flatter the bride’s body without being too form-fitting.
- Tea-length dresses fall to mid-calf; they’re popular with trendy brides or at more casual weddings.
- Mini dresses are usually reserved for the after-party because they’re so short and flirty; you’ll rarely see a bride sporting a mini dress at the altar.
As you’re trying on dresses, have fun but be practical. You’ll want a dress that fits both your ceremony location and reception venue. A Cinderella ball gown with a long flowing train might be difficult on the beach. A tea-length silk number might be better suited. And of course, you’ll want to make sure your dress is comfortable enough so you can dance the night away at your reception.
It’s best to start looking for your dress about six to eight months before your wedding day. Dresses are usually made to order, which takes three to four months. Once it arrives, you’ll need to schedule at least one or two fittings to ensure a perfect fit, which will also take several weeks. On the day before your wedding, you’ll want to make sure that your dress is steamed and free of wrinkles.
If you have selected a second look to wear late at night or for dancing at the reception, make sure it is delivered to your venue for an easy outfit change.
SELECTING YOUR BRIDAL PARTY ATTIRE
These days, just about anything goes when it comes to bridal party attire. A good rule of thumb is that the more formal the wedding, the longer the bridesmaids’ dresses should be, but gone are the days when the maids wore the exact same dress. Different necklines, lengths and silhouettes to fit each bridesmaids’ body and style are the norm. Some brides even choose to mix patterns and colors.
For the groomsmen, you can go with the traditional tuxedo or suit, or relax a little with dress pants, button-down shirt and a vest, but no suit jacket. To spice things up and add a little panache to the day, fun socks are becoming a big trend.
Whatever you and your bridal party wear, make sure it’s comfortable. No one looks good in clothes that don’t fit or are uncomfortable. Stay true to your fashion sense and be “the best version of you” on your big day.